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Madelon

Age at interview: 93
Brief Outline: Madelon has “little strokes” and diabetes. She has been treated for stomach cancer and has had both knees replaced. She believes that her health problems are a result of being overweight.
Background: Madelon is a retired housewife. Ethnic Background: White.

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Madelon’s recurring strokes find her “talking a load of rubbish” and sometimes admitted to hospital. The effects of the strokes sometimes go away of their own accord. She has diabetes, which makes her tired. She takes a lot of prescription drugs, so many that she doesn’t know “which is for which.” Because she takes warfarin she has twice weekly trips to the GP surgery for blood tests. She believes this system is very well managed, but doesn’t feel that she should be expected to make her own way to the surgery at her advanced age.

Madelon doesn’t see her diabetes and strokes as being connected. She tries not to do anything too strenuous and “not to put myself under too much pressure.” Her main issue is being released from hospital without social support:
“The only thing I’ve sort of had trouble with is when I’ve been in hospital, there don’t seem to be much sort of care for when you come out and when you’re on your own, but I think probably that’s improved a bit because it’s, you know, it’s not very nice when you’ve been in hospital and then you come back to an empty house and got to cope with yourself.”

Madelon thinks her GP is very good: “He’s sort of listens and usually he’s got a solution to whatever it is.”
 

Madelon has got used to taking her medicines over the years. She uses a weekly dosette box to organise her tablets

Madelon has got used to taking her medicines over the years. She uses a weekly dosette box to organise her tablets

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And how do you do you find it taking all of these tablets?

Yeah, I’ve got used to it after all this time. I’ve got a little thing to put a week’s supply in and it just seems to make the weeks go quick you know. I fill them up and think, I’ve only just done that [laughs]. And they’re all gone again, yeah.
 

Madelon has had many health problems and takes a variety of medicines. However, she has got used to this over time and manages taking her tablets using a dosette box.

Madelon has had many health problems and takes a variety of medicines. However, she has got used to this over time and manages taking her tablets using a dosette box.

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And you mentioned there that you take a number of different medications.

Yes.

Are they just for the strokes and diabetes or do you take things for other conditions as well?

Yes, well, I’ve had cancer twice.

Right.

On the stomach.

Right.

So I have to have tablets for that. I have a B12 injection every three months. I have to have that for that reason.

Okay.

And I’ve had arthritis as well. I’ve had both my knees done. So a bit of a record to give you [laughs].

Right. Okay. And how do you do you find it taking all of these tablets?

Yeah, I’ve got used to it after all this time. I’ve got a little thing to put a week’s supply in and it just seems to make the weeks go quicker, you know. I fill them up and think, I’ve only just done that [laughs]. And they’re all gone again, yeah.
 

Madelon doesn’t think it is fair that she has to get herself to the surgery when she is aged in her 90s. She believes somebody should visit to check on her at home once a month.

Madelon doesn’t think it is fair that she has to get herself to the surgery when she is aged in her 90s. She believes somebody should visit to check on her at home once a month.

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Okay, and if you could give any messages to your GP or to nurses or hospitals about healthcare and what they could improve, what might you say?

I think for older people is you shouldn’t be expected to get down to the surgery like you are because it’s not easy is it, expensive with taxis or voluntary cars I use, yeah. I think, I always thought that they visited you when you was after a certain age sort of once a month but.

Right.

You don’t seem to do, which would be a good idea wouldn’t it.

Really, just to keep an eye on you, but they don’t that unless you’ve got some, you know, you send for them, unless you’ve got something wrong.

So you’d like a more of a regular.

Yeah, like once a month or something like that, yes, it would, yes.

Okay. Rather than simply going when you’ve got something wrong.

Yes, that’s right, yes, that’s right yeah.
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